Adrian Hope counts himself as lucky to be alive after being diagnosed with a brain tumour the size of a grapefruit.

But although he came out of the ordeal with his life, it was never to be the same again.

He was left with long term health implications, including short term memory loss.

The Carlisle father, now 60, said was no longer able to be the same person.

His marriage broke down, he lost his business, home and previous lifestyle.

Although he saw his daughter, he was not in the right frame of mind to be a proper dad.

He had to take early retirement due to ill health, but struggled to come to terms with it.

But thanks to a local charity he found support, and with it a new sense of positivity and acceptance.

He now has a strong relationship with his daughter, Tavi Hope, and says he feels like he has been reborn.

To say thank you, Adrian, of Burnfoot Grove, St Anns, is embarking on a sponsored swim, to give something back and raise awareness. He hopes others may read his story and realise they are not alone.

"The tumour they took out of my head was the size of a grapefruit," he explained.

"It had pushed my brain right to the back of my head.

"As a result, I was behaving in quite a strange way."

He was rushed in for emergency surgery. Luckily doctors were able to operate and successfully remove the tumour.

He was given lifeline, but it came with long-term consequences.

"When you think you've recovered there is this sense of elation. That everything will go back to normal and life will go on. Unfortunately it doesn't," he said.

"You try very hard to be normal and do the things you used to do.

"But it resulted in me losing my business, my marriage broke up and I lost the family home because I couldn't afford to stay there. It was a downward spiral.

"I was leading a life I never expected to be. I had financial problems and was in a very dark place.

"Then one day I read an article in The Cumberland News about who had fallen through a roof and landed on his head onto a flagged floor. He wasn't expected to live but he did, however he had a brain injury.

"The story was about him being supported by Headway. When I read there were so many similarities to my own circumstances, but he had come back from it. I realised that maybe I could."

Adrian went along to one of their meetings, and was amazed to see so many people there.

"There must have been 60 or 70 people. Some had had brain tumours, others had been in car or bike accidents.

"Initially I thought I'd have a cup of tea then leave, but I decided to stay," he said.

"I actually met the man I had read about in the article. He was quite like myself. It made me realise I needed help - that I couldn't do what I used to, but a lot of other people were in a similar situation. I wasn't alone."

He began to accept he had a long term brain injury, but he could overcome it and find happiness.

"Headway is brilliant. The people who run it all do so on a voluntary basis.

"Everyone Headway supports has a story to tell, just like me," he said.

Adrian found that swimming has helped him, both physically to keep fit and by giving him a new hobby.

He has gradually been upping his fitness, and is now ready to embark on a big charity challenge.

He plans to swim 240 lengths of the pool at Bannatyne's, which is a total of three miles.

All money he raises will go to Headway Cumbria, to allow it to continue supporting people with brain injuries in the local area.

The swim, to coincide with Headway's 40th anniversary, will take place in December this year.

To support him visit